Al Jazeera America, the cable news channel launched by the global Qatar-based media group with great fanfare in 2013, will be shut down on 30 April, the company said on Wednesday. An internal memo from director general Mostefa Souag said the decision was 'driven by the fact that our business model is simply not sustainable in light of the economic challenges in the US media marketplace.' The shutdown comes less than three years after a massive investment in a cable news operation aimed at rivaling CNN, Fox News and MSNBC, but which failed to attract significant numbers of viewers. In mid-2013, the channel went live after hiring some 850 staff and opening 12 bureaus in the United States.
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Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is a Managing Editor for OpEd News, and a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites.